Written By Matthew Meichle
I have always been a huge music fan. The first album I remember getting was an Aerosmith live bootleg. It had 3 albums in one and it was amazing. I also got a Shawn Cassidy album, and yes, I am comfortable in my heterosexuality. ‘Da Doo Ron Ron Ron’ was a classic song, and for all of you homophobes it was about a girl (DUH!). Then, as I started to get older and the seventies were winding down, I got into the 80′s. And wow, what a weird time. Now, I wasn’t old enough to go to clubs or do cocaine and drive a Delorean, but I listened the shit out of the music from that era.
From the glam metal bands like Motley Crue, to the pop hits of Culture Club and Kajagoogoo, and all the ones in between, I loved all genres; from heavy metal, to rap and pop (but not country). A couple of bands really got my attention: Devo and Oingo Boingo. Now Devo did a little better than the latter band, but I am here to clear the air. Oingo Boingo is the most underrated and ignored band of all times. In my opinion, they are one of the forefathers of Skaw, or the ones who helped shape it. The horns are amazing and the groves of Steve Bartek’s guitar, and John “Vatos” Hernandez on the skins and John Avila on bass. Their songs might seem a little strange to some of you, but to me they were pure genius.
I really don’t understand how or why Oingo Boingo were not that successful. They had a few songs in some very popular movies, like Back to School and Weird Science just to name a few. Devo had “Whip It” as their number one hit; I’ll bet there are a lot of people who only know Devo from that one song. Don’t get me wrong, I love and still listen to Devo on a regular basis, but to me Oingo Boingo is one of the end-all, be-all bands of all time.
With me, I listen to some bands and I just get burned out, and won’t listen to them for what seems to be years. But with Oingo Boingo, I never get sick of their songs. And it saddens me to know that I will never hear a new Oingo Boingo album ever. A reunion tour is out of the question as Danny’s vocal cords are becoming shot, and he is busy making awesome movie scores (for Tim Burton mostly, but he has done other movies as well; he is a highly sought after composer).
I will get right to the point. As music fans, we all know music from earlier decades comes full circle, and new bands come out that sound like old bands. I know there are a lot of bands that popped up in recent years that sound a lot like 80′s transplants, but none of them will ever sound like Oingo Boingo. Their awesome brass section, Danny’s amazing voice, and his weird but unique lyrics make Oingo Boingo one of my favorite bands of all times. I know there are a few bands that cover some Oingo Boingo songs, but you don’t hear about it, at all. And that makes me mad; how did this band not achieve greatness? With all the one hit wonders out there, Oingo Boingo had hit after hit.
Everyone makes fun of the 80′s. You know what? So do I, and I grew up in them. But to me, the 90′s were just as bad, if not worse than 80′s. I mean, the 90′s had a lot of one hit wonders. Where is Marcy Playground? Did they have too much Sex and Candy? And what about Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Deep Blue Something? More like Deep Blue Nothing. And the list goes on.
Sure, some of these bands are probably still successful in their own countries. But why for f*ck’s sake is Oingo Boingo never mentioned at all? I ask all of you to just grab an Oingo Boingo album and let me know what you think. I think you will be amazed at their sound, a sound that should come back soon. In closing, to me Oingo Boingo is like Wyld Stallyns: their music could bring peace to the world if we all just give it a chance.